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Showing posts from March 2, 2014

I Don't Care What Calvin Says (You're Right; Lent Is A Popish Practice)

There's this . And he's right, you know. Calvin and Edwards, not to mention countless others, spared no hostility for these practices. It makes sense for them to do so; their very indulgence, stripped of sensual vanity, suggests soteriological participation that is utterly antithetical to Reformation convictions. Own it. This was the point of the Reformation: to strip Christian practices of any semblance of human contribution to the "finished work of Christ." This is shorthand for, "Grace unmediated, undeserved, unmingled with human effort, applied by faith alone outside of us." Did I miss anything? But let me humbly suggest that insofar as this evangelical dabbling in the ancient ways is fueled by ignorance, it is a good thing. It's these Reformation distinctives that deserve challenge. Those commitments beg the question, when the two competing ways of salvation are placed side-by-side. I will frankly say that you are only preferring one because you&#

"I Believe The Bible" Isn't Good Enough

No, this is not another Sola Scriptura post, although frankly, I never tire of writing those. Sorry. No, this is about what the Bible is. If you start from the beginning, it becomes obvious very quickly that something interesting is going on. If we understand the context of the people who wrote this, we can see that the driving purpose of the creation story and of the whole Pentateuch in general, is a liturgical polemic against the other gods of the ancient near East. We need not even take a position as to whether it was written by God, and that he demands our allegiance as a result. That could be a separate question. But someone human wrote these books in a particular time in a particular place for a particular reason. It behooves us to understand that in all its complexity as best we can, especially if we believe it is breathed out by God. That may seem counterintuitive, but if we think about it, it makes sense in this way: if God ultimately composed these stories, then the human ele

Atheist Naturalism Might Have Sounded Good, But...

When God speaks to you directly, that pretty much ends that. Fine, I was curious about God; my reason told me that He must be there, but I didn't know anything much about Him. We were not religious; my mother will tell you her childhood home was atheist, but that isn't true. My grandfather became an "atheist" when some people who don't speak for Jesus told a young lad that he was too young to receive baptism, too young to enter into a loving personal friendship with the Lord of the universe. (Baptize your children,--or, I should say, have them baptized--brethren; if you don't, you're putting an arbitrary human thing on to when that relationship can begin.) He may not be the best Christian I know, but he has been the sorriest excuse for an atheist his entire life. And that is a good thing. I read this book  when I was 17. With all due respect, it's a terrible book. Even at 17, I reasoned that if God existed, He must be all-powerful. There must be a be


One question I'm continually asked is, "How can you follow all those rules?" Honestly, the more I think about this question, the funnier it is to me. Because the fundamental misunderstanding of the whole thing springs from how ordinary people--especially those for whom practicing Christians are like an alien species--view religion. They are quite aware that there are people involved in such things, but are quite suspicious of the idea that the divine has anything to do with it. That's fine, as far as it goes, but the question would naturally suggest itself: "What if it's real?" What if there is a divine Person at the heart of this entire enterprise? If God is like that which has been revealed to us concerning him, then my only answer to the question is and could be, "What rules?" If you have ever been in love, even if it has not been returned, you know what it does to you. You would run through a wall just to be with that person. No matter how